Many symptoms of depression and dementia in elderly people overlap, making professional medical evaluation essential when a parent exhibits changes in behavior or mood. Using established tools and benchmarks, a clinician can diagnose, monitor and manage this disease.
Some of the symptoms of depression and/or dementia to watch for in older adults:
- agitated or lethargic manner
- changes in hygiene
- feeling hopeless
- preoccupation with death
- appetite changes
- sleep disturbances
These can be signs of diminished cognitive functioning, such as dementia, or these signs can mean that your loved one is suffering from depression. But there can be other possible reasons for behavior changes in elderly people including urinary tract infections, vitamin deficiencies, stroke, or electrolyte imbalance. To further complicate diagnosis, dementia and depression often occur simultaneously.
Carrier Clinic® recommends seeking medical attention whenever an aging loved one exhibits any of the above signs. Diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. To schedule an evaluation, contact our 24/7 Access Center at 800-933-3579.
For more information about dementia, including a video and tips for getting medical care, click the link below.